Joan Barker and Allison Constant opening Saturday, Oct. 4th at Artbar Gallery in Kingston, NY.

“Street Dressing,” a Collaborative Show of “Art Underfoot,”

Opens in Kingston October 4



Street Dressing is an exhibition of photographs, mixed media and collaborative work by Joan Barker and Allison Constant opening Saturday, Oct. 4th at Artbar Gallery in Kingston, NY.  Ms. Barker is this year’s recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching at SUNY New Paltz.  Ms. Constant was Ms. Barker’s student at SUNY New Paltz before graduating in 2012. Most recently, Ms. Constant opened the ARTBAR Gallery on the Broadway Corridor in Kingston.

Last spring, the two artists decided to celebrate art, education and the contribution the arts are making to the revitalization of the Kingston community by working together on this unique exhibition. In her photographs for the exhibit, Ms. Barker reflects on the form and function of the eroding surfaces of streets, sidewalks and parking lots, while Ms. Constant explores the impact of materials such as hot glue, string and paint as they melt, crack and regenerate surfaces.

Through individual and collaborative images, each artist looks at decorated or “dressed” paved surfaces as textured canvases where wheels, workers, pedestrians and the forces of nature leave their mark. Brightly colored swirls of paint appear as secret codes to all but the trained eye.

Ms. Barker’s photograph, “NYC Street Scene,” for example, presents a striking pattern of color-coded indicators applied by street workers: yellow for gas and oil, red for electric power lines or cables, orange for communication or alarms, green for sewers and drain lines, etc. And the polymer tape used to mark crosswalks adds unique elements to the photo due to erosion by thermal expansion, and the wear and tear of foot and vehicular traffic, salt and snow plows.

Ms. Barker describes the street scenes as “art underfoot.” The color, texture, signs and symbols that are used to dress the street as cracks are repaired and signs are repainted inspire both artists. Their observations and visual responses to the complexity of navigating in the world of paved surfaces that surround us have resulted in a narrative of an unexpected visual experience.

Street Dressing opens at ARTBAR Gallery, 674 Broadway, Kingston, NY on October 4 and runs through October 26. Opening reception is Saturday, Oct. 4 from 5 to 8 P.M. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday 12 – 6 P.M. and Sunday 12 – 5 P.M. For further information please contact Allison Constant at or visit our website or see us on facebook.


Categories: Member exhibitions

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